How To Protect Your Credit Over The Holidays | Refresh Financial

How To Protect Your Credit Over The Holidays

christmas-shopping

We all get busy over the holidays. The end of December usually appears out of thin air, before we could even say Happy Holidays. It’s been a whirlwind of shopping, wrapping, visiting, and enjoying the company of loved ones. So many things seem to fall by the wayside, like your forty day gym streak, the downstairs bathroom renovation, or even that low-carb diet you’ve been on. They get put on the back burner while we sip eggnog by the fire with friends and family, and before we know it, January is here and it’s just one straight month of catching up.

If you’ve been around here for a while, you’ve probably put some good, hard work into bettering your financial situation. You’ve probably been able to raise your credit score some, and maybe even put some money away for emergencies. Maybe you’ve lowered your monthly expenses and started on the credit rebuild program from Refresh Financial. You’ve made progress, forward motion and the last thing you need is for a month of celebrations to throw your focus and set you back once again.

So, today we’re going to talk about how you can make sure you don’t take any steps backward this season, and how you can protect your credit score and financial well-being while still enjoying your holidays.

Security

The first thing we need to discuss is security. During the holidays, you’re shopping more, pulling out your credit cards more, and you’re doing it all so fast that things could easily go unnoticed. It’s a great time of year for identity thieves and credit card fraudsters, sadly, and that means you have to be on the ball. You need to stay on top of your bills even though you’re busy. Whether you choose to use a protection service like Identity Guard, or you just look at your credit card account more often during the holidays, you’ve got to be aware of what’s happening with your cards. If you notice anything suspicious at all, call your credit card company and clear it up, ASAP. Nothing is worse than finding out you’ve had your credit card stolen and maxed out just a few days before Christmas. Protect yourself; protect your credit score; protect the progress you’ve made this year by being aware of what is happening with your cards.

Overspending

Next, we have to discuss overspending. We are all guilty of this during the holidays, but running up your credit card balances is going to up your usage ratio. Higher credit usage ratios mean a lower credit score. Make sure you can pay off most of what you spend on your card before you spend it, and if you can’t, then you need to lower the amount you’re spending.

Paying bills

Now, let’s talk about everyone’s favourite topic: paying bills! If you can overlook identity theft because you’re so busy spreading holiday cheer, you can certainly forget to pay a bill or two as well. Make sure that even when you’re in the eye of the Christmas storm, you’ve got it under control. Use that powerful device in the palm of your hand to remind you when bills are due so you don’t have any late payments on your credit report going forward. Keep the derogs away by making sure you’re paying what you owe, on time.

Overall debt

Finally, be cautious of increasing your overall debt. Don’t take on any new credit products, even though there will be temptations in nearly every store you visit to sign up for a new credit card or store card. Also, make sure you know which credit product has the lowest interest and try to stick to just using that one. Set limits for spending and try to save money wherever you can. Accumulating more debt is only going to make it harder for you to get out of debt, so be cautious and aware of what you’re spending.

Protecting your credit score this Christmas is all about being aware and making good choices. If you can do that, you’re going to be able to keep that score moving in an upward motion and your financial security healthy.

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